How wonderful is Wonder Bread? The famous white bread was launched nearly a century ago in the US state of Indiana. Most people already know that such bread is highly processed and has little nutritional value. Even the look of the bread isn’t very close to wheat grains.
However, when considering issues like carbs in whole wheat flour there are question marks if whole wheat bread is much healthier. On a low-carb diet like the Keto diet, you do carb-counting to make sure you stay in a state of “ketosis.” Whole wheat bread is less processed it’s still made in a factory.
Besides low-carb diets, there are others like Paleo and Primal diets that focus on whole foods. When picking foods, we should not only consider things like carbohydrates but also how much processing was done. For example, homemade Ezekiel Bread contains several types of whole grains include wheat and barley, and a few kinds of bean sprouts.
Meanwhile, white bread is named for a color that has nothing to do with the color of the original grains it’s made from. It’s critical to take a closer look at the nutrition facts of the two pieces of bread to determine how much healthier whole wheat actually is.
What Is Whole Wheat Flour?
This is the main ingredient in whole wheat bread so it’s critical to compare it to white flour. Today there’s a lot of debate about whether gluten grains like wheat are healthy. Grains like wheat, barley, and rye contain the substance that’s a combination of two proteins. Some people and diets claim that gluten is unhealthy. However, there’s no question of wheat grains tons of nutrition.
Wheat flour is made from something called wheat “berries.” The big difference between whole wheat, wheat, and white flour is how much processing is done. “Whole grain” flour includes all three parts of the wheat grain:
This explains why the bread has a thicker texture and causes you to feel fuller vs. white bread. When you remove the bran and endosperm of grain it also decreases the number of nutrients and fiber they contain.
When you go shopping at your local supermarket, you’ll likely see different terms like cracked wheat bread. These terms are related to what parts of the grain were used to make the bread and the kinds of processing that was done. In order to get the healthiest kind of bread make sure that all three parts of the grain were used to make it.
One thing to keep in mind is that while whole wheat flour is healthier than white flour it’s still processed. It’s like buying store-bought coffee grounds at the store. It’s healthier than 3-in-1 coffee mixes but it’s still undergone some processing.
When picking wheat flour make sure to pick ones made from whole grains in order to get the most nutrients. When more processing is done it results in less healthy bread.
That’s especially the case with white bread. If you’re on a low-carb diet you can make something like Cloud Bread on Keto. You can also deal with wheat/gluten allergies by picking other flour sources like almond, coconut, buckwheat, quinoa, and flaxseed.
Carbs in Whole Wheat Flour
You might be surprised about the carbs of whole wheat and white bread. In fact, there’s actually more carbs in whole wheat bread at 17g per slice. That’s compared to 13g of carbs for white bread.
Both of these figures are high for diets like Keto and Carbs since we’re talking about one slice of bread. One slice of whole-wheat bread provides about one-third of the total carbs allowed on a standard Keto diet that allows 50g of carbs per day. However, you’re getting better carbs versus white flour.
Nutrition facts of whole wheat flour (1 cup/125g):
The calorie clock in at 455, which is about one-quarter you’re allowed on a 2,000-calorie diet. It’s quite high, but keep in mind you’re getting more nutrition versus white flour. It’s definitely not a low-calorie food. If you’re trying to lose weight there are better options like almond or coconut flour.
For one cup you get a whopping 95g of carbs. Fun Fact: About 1 pound (450g) of flour to make one loaf of bread. If you’re doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) versus sitting all day it won’t be a problem.
If you’re on a low-fat diet you’ll be pleased to learn 1 cup of whole wheat flour provides just 1.2 of fat. That includes mostly unsaturated fat and some saturated fat. There’s some debate about whether you should eat a low-fat or high-fat diet. Keto makes it about three-quarters of your total carbs. Meanwhile, the low-fat camp says it should be at 10% or so.
Whole grain flour has more protein than white flour since the grain if complete. Whole wheat flour provides about 13g of protein, which is quite good. You can add extra to your bread by using multiple grains like barley, millet, and spelt.
Low-carb Substitutes for Wheat Flour
This one isn’t a flour but instead ground chia seeds. This has become a superfood in recent years but has been part of South American cuisine for thousands of years. It’s high in omega-3s so you’ll get lots of healthy fats.
The seeds can provide various health benefits like less inflammation. It’s also a good source of nutrients like protein, fiber, and calcium.
This is the outer layer of seeds. It’s a good option for low-carb recipes for adding fiber and moistness. It’s not really a flour but when you want a thicker texture it’s a good option for low-carb cooking. There are many health benefits of psyllium husk. It’s high in fiber and good fats.
You can swap it in to replace wheat flour and as an egg substitute. It’s ideal for several recipes like Keto bread.
This is one of the go-to flours for Keto baking. It’s a good option for low-carb/high-fat (LCHF) recipes. Almond flour is made by removing the skins then blanching the nuts. It’s a good option for making various items including soft pretzels. It’s also a great option for Keto cookies. If you want a thicker texture then go with almond meal versus flour.
This is a wise choice for recipes like Keto crackers. You can even sometimes use it as an egg substitute sometimes. It’s a good option for vegans and people with egg allergies. Flaxseed is a healthy seed and contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that Vitamin Bs.
Besides coconut water and oil there’s also coconut flour. This is a good option for Keto since it’s low-carb and high-fat. It’s a good option for cakes, muffins, and brownies when you want a moist texture. If you’re making crusts or cookies you should consider other options after learning carbs in whole wheat flour.